RingCentral Helps Brightway Transform Its Customer Experience, Enhance Service to Franchisees, and Avoid a Costly Call Center Expansion
We were able to hire just a handful of expert agents in different states and allow them to take calls from home, which RingCentral makes so easy.
Co-Founder & Chief Strategist, Brightway Insurance
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With more than $560 million in annualized written premiums, Brightway Insurance is one of the nation’s largest privately held independent personal lines insurance agencies. Since beginning franchise operations in 2008, Brightway has grown to more than 800 people in 21 states, serving customers in every state in the country. Forbes has recognized the company as “America’s No. 1 Franchise to Buy.”
Due to its rapid growth and the company’s promise to provide world-class customer service, Brightway recently started preparing to invest in a costly call center expansion. The good news, which the IT team discovered after rolling out RingCentral, is that Brightway didn’t need to grow its call center presence. Upgrading the company’s communications solution solved its growing pains—as well as another challenge the company didn’t yet realize it had.
A legacy phone system creates several business challenges
A key differentiator for Brightway is that it offers its agents comprehensive support so they can focus on selling while Brightway handles all other business functions at its home office. For example, calls about existing policies are directed not to the policyholder’s local agent but to the company’s centralized call center.
As Brightway grew, the company realized it needed more sophisticated call center functionality, and it could no longer support a growing base of agents and customers with its on-premises PBX phone system, which was designed for small to medium-sized businesses. “We wanted to find call center functionality that sat on top of the existing telephony platform, but ultimately we decided to replace the platform altogether,” explains Brightway’s Enterprise Architect, Michael Baker.
Finally, Brightway also became convinced that its call center was deeply understaffed, but the lack of a sophisticated contact center platform meant the company did not have the data to verify their suspicion. So, in addition to looking for the right contact center platform to add to its phone system, the company also expected to build a second call center, hiring many dozens of new in-house insurance professionals.
As it turned out, though, deploying RingCentral addressed all of these issues.
An omnichannel communications solution revolutionizes Brightway’s business
When Brightway deployed RingCentral MVP™ and RingCentral Contact Center™ at its home office, the company for the first time had data-supported visibility into what was happening at its call center. This led to a startling discovery.
“We assumed our challenges with handling all of the inbound policyholder calls stemmed from us not having enough staff at our call center,” says Baker. “But when we examined the call reports from RingCentral Contact Center, we realized the issue was more about not getting callers to the right experts. Insurance laws differ by state, which means policies differ by state. So unless we could match a caller to an in-house agent with the right regional knowledge, we’d have a problem. Once we were able to identify this as the issue, we started using Contact Center to direct policy calls to the right people.”
“This was a game changer for several reasons,” Baker explains. “First, because we learned the problem wasn’t simply headcount, we didn’t need to invest in a massive new call center, which might have cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars and required hiring dozens of in-house agents. Second, because these call reports helped us pinpoint the problem as a need for more region-specific knowledge, we were able to hire just a handful of expert agents in different states and allow them to take calls from home, which RingCentral makes so easy.”
RingCentral’s omnichannel solution gave Brightway another tool to make its operations run more effectively. “Because RingCentral MVP includes the RingCentral Video team messaging platform,” says Baker, “we’ve also set up region-specific RingCentral Video teams, so remote agents and staff at the home office can pop into the right RingCentral Video team and ask for expert help. Team messaging at the core of our RingCentral solution helps our communications run more smoothly and also keeps us better connected and feeling more like a team—even though our agents are geographically scattered. Plus, it allows us to better serve our customers.”
In addition, with the RingCentral Pulse™ solution, RingCentral Video teams can be notified of different conditions in the contact center, such as when a queue is getting more traffic than expected, notifying the proper stakeholders immediately so they can take action to address changing conditions before they become significant issues.
Team messaging at the core of our RingCentral solution helps our communications run more smoothly and also keeps us better connected and feeling more like a team—even though our agents are geographically scattered. Plus, it allows us to better serve our customers.
Co-Founder & Chief Strategist, Brightway Insurance
Fast answers, first-contact resolution, and a better customer experience
According to Baker, transitioning to RingCentral has resulted in many benefits for Brightway, such as enabling callers to reach the correct person in one hop. Brightway now uses smart-routing rules across email, chat, and voice to connect customers to the right resource. They initially thought they would need to rebuild the logic across each channel, but RingCentral allowed them to reuse it across all channels. The new process makes it simple for customers and agents to get answers much more quickly and efficiently, which improves customer satisfaction.